Do leader expectations shape employee service performance? Enhancing self-expectations and internalization in employee role identity

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12 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper expands the Theory of Planned Behavior to explore the role of leaders' normative expectations in driving employees' service performance. Two quantitative studies in the context of retailing indicate that leaders' normative expectations for high-quality service are related to employee service performance, through employee self-expectations for quality service (Study 1; N=75), and service role identity (Study 2; N=226). Both studies apply Kelman's Theory of Social Influence by exploring how leaders influence employees' expectations and corresponding behaviors, through the three processes of social influence: compliance, identification, and internalization. Leaders' normative expectations for high-quality service enhances employee service performance not only by adjusting self-expectations to comply with an authority figure's expectations or by identification with the leader as a role model, but rather as a deep-rooted process where the leader's normative expectations are internalized into employee's role identity. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-554
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Management and Organization
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • employee service performance
  • expectations
  • leadership
  • role identity
  • social influence
  • subjective norms

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